A Pathetic Scroll of Honour


14 de octubre de 2005

Dear Mr Nyakairu and Mr. Vasquez,

Until today we haven’t received any answer of our protest letter regarding the scroll of honour for the city of Jakarta.

However, we have learned your email to Mr Ted Anana, Mr Joseph Schechla, Ms Somsook Bonyabhanca, answering our demand to withdraw scroll of honor to the city of Jakarta on Habitat day commemoration October 3, 2005.

We are not sure wether you had read our protest email on this matter to UN Habitat as we could not find any substantial argumentation on your email supporting the decision to award the scroll of honour to the city of Jakarta. We only find you saying that “the city has made significant improvements”, without any further explanation on it. Kindly tell us specifically what kind of significant improvement has been made by the city.

It is very important for us to understand the comprehension of UN habitat on the situation on the city as from our side, the city, on the contrary, has made significant violation on human rights especially on the people’s rights to work and on housing. As we have stated on our protest letter, from 2000 to 2005, the city has evicted 92.720 people and threatened 1.592.011 people who will be affected by several public-private partnerships project. The city has also evicted and confiscated 23.205 Pedi cabs and 62.263 street vendors. The city has not provided the poor with public services such as, education, health, and food service, simply because the poor doesn’t own Jakarta’s identity card although they have been living in the city for years.

We also could not find any reasonable relations between “UN-HABITAT projects of some US$25 million under the post-tsunami reconstruction” with the award for Jakarta, as the tsunami happened in Aceh, Sumatera. After learning from the great effort carried out by UN Habitat on post-tsunami reconstruction, we could come to the conclusion that the scroll of honor should not go to the city of Jakarta but to UN Habitat itself.

We demand UN Habitat to withdraw the scroll of honour to the city of Jakarta.

We are looking forward to hearing from you,

Best Regards,

Wardah Hafidz

note: attached please find our protest letter to UN Habitat.

Dear Mr. Anana,

Thank you for your email regarding UN-HABITAT’s award to the Municipality of Jakarta. I take the points that you raise very seriously and would like to respond to them on behalf of the Executive Director, Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka.

The City of Jakarta is a mega city with more than 10 million inhabitants. About 20 per cent or 2 million are living in Kampungs or slums. It is clear that many challenges remain ahead but the city has made significant improvements. UN-HABITAT recognizes the progress that has been made so far and is helping to address the areas that need to be improved, such as strengthening the people’s process, through our collaboration with the central government, provincial governments and civil society organizations in Indonesia.

As you may be aware, UN-HABITAT currently has projects of some US$25 million under the post-tsunami reconstruction, targeting the most vulnerable households. Further, on World Habitat Day on 3 October 2005, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Public Works, the Ministry of the People’s Housing, and the Association of Provincial Governments to provide a framework for introducing the Slum Upgrading Facility in Indonesia. The Facility is aimed at mobilizing capital to provide affordable housing and better infrastructure for the urban poor.

It is in this context that UN-HABITAT awarded the Municipality of Jakarta the Scroll of Honour to recognize the progress that has been made and to lay the foundation for further improvements in building an inclusive city.

I thank you for your support and look forward to our continued collaboration.

Best regards,

Jane Nyakairu
Chief, Information Services Section
Office of the Executive Director, UN-HABITAT
PO Box 30030, Nairobi
Tel: +254 2062 4502 / Fax: +254 2062 3477
Mobile: +254 733 333 048
Website: http://www.unhabitat.org